Friday, November 21, 2008

Need vs. God's Will

There are days when I hate the whole adoption process. You know, the days when you want to close your eyes and click your heels together 3X and say: "There's no place like my imaginary world. There's no place like my imaginary world." And suddenly you find yourself in the midst of that world of soft edges and perfect color. A world where everything flows just right and is perfect. Perfect decisions, perfect people, perfect situations. A perfection that requires little from you because you are perfect too.

I'm having one of those days when I hate the adoption process. It's one of those days when I wish I was waking up in my imaginary world, but instead am faced with NEED. How do you handle it?

How do you handle seeing a need so great that it is hard to even look at it? Even worse, how do you handle it when you finally do look and realize that you meeting that need is contrary to God's will? Need vs. God's is hard to deal with...but even harder when it deals with human life.

I am struggling...struggling with the knowledge that God is probably telling me to step away from faces filled with some of the deepest need I have seen because it is not His will for us. I am struggling not to feel like I am abandoning these faces. I'm trying so hard to remind myself that I am leaving them in Palm of His hand. But it doesn't help...because I am struggling with the pain of their NEED and the knowledge that I could meet it if I chose. But how do you choose to meet a need contrary to God's will? And are you really meeting that need if you do?

There are days when I hate the whole adoption process...I'm having one of those days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

HIV Adoptions: Oh Yes You Can!

This is a great short video that talks about the realities of adopting HIV positive children. As we look towards our future adoption from Uganda and the possibility that one of our children may have this condition...we want all of our friends and family to be educated on what that means. This video is a great starting point. Take a few minutes if you can and watch it.
(once it opens up the page for you, click on the link to watch the whole episode)

Carolyn Twietmeyer called her husband at work one day and said she found the children they were supposed to adopt, and one of them is HIV positive. Kiel Twietmeyer didn’t really know how to respond. After about two weeks of contemplation the couple decided they had to go to Ethiopia to adopt the three siblings orphaned by AIDS. Before leaving to come home to the U.S., Carolyn took her son to visit his friends at the orphanage. It was during this visit that she met Selah, also orphaned by AIDS and living with stage four AIDS. Today, as the newest Twietmeyer child, Selah’s health has significantly improved with the help of antiretroviral drugs, a dose of hope, and lots of love from a blended family.

The idea of adopting a child with HIV isn’t rare. Margaret Fleming, founder of Adoption Link and Chances By Choice, an adoption agency for HIV/AIDS orphans, says there are many parents desiring to adopt a child with HIV. Today with the advancement of antiretroviral medications the lifespan of a child living with HIV has greatly increased. Mary Austin, an RN and adoption advocate with the agency says the virus is often times more manageable than diabetes. Margaret has adopted three children with HIV and Mary has adopted one child with HIV.

The United Nations reports there are 14 million AIDS orphans worldwide. 22 million people have died from AIDS with 74% of that population living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paperwork Party!

Well, yesterday we took another major step forward in our Ugandan adoption. We had put it on hold for a season because it was looking like we would be welcoming 2 orphans from the US into our family. Thankfully, extended family members of these two dear children stepped up and took them under their wings. So we're now back to walking through this amazing, challenging process.

I was finally able to finish all the paperwork for our international homestudy and mail it into the agency. Now we wait for them to contact us later this week and set up a time to meet with our social worker to finalize the homestudy. We're both excited about this and nervous as well.

I think the money has begun to feel more daunting to us lately. It has kept me up the last several nights. I lay awake trying to brainstorm ways to supplement our income without leaving Boo or over-extending our family life. (which is arguably already over-extended) I felt myself getting more and more despondent over the situation. In fact, I started to question if we were even supposed to do this. Was I pushing something on our family that God didn't want?

The Major has been my rock through this whole time. He has not wavered once in his desire to see this through nor has his faith wavered that God will provide for us to bring these new recruits home to our arms. I'm so thankful for this man of God I am following. He is so wise and teaches me everyday about trusting God to do what He said He would.

So, we've moved forward...after praying together over the paperwork, we sent it away with all the hope, fear, and excitement that encompasses each step of an international adoption. May the Lord show Himself faithful on behalf of orphans worldwide!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two for ONE! (Part 2)

Pvt Boo's first birthday celebration finished off with a bang this weekend. We were able to have a small party at our home with family and friends from the area. It was supposed to be a butterfly tea party...but our state decided to have 85 degree weather in November. So, with the help of my most awesome mother-in-law, Grandma G, we punted and had butterfly punch instead with lots of "tea" snacks. The weather was gorgeous and once again we just sat amazed at the blessing of our daughter and the impact of her life already on those around her.

One interesting note...our daughter hated opening presents. We thought that with all the ripping of paper and magazines that happens around our house these days, she would really be into it. We were very wrong! After trying several times to get her interested she started to cry. So, cousin Jameson came to the rescue and opened them all for her. His observation when he was done: "This is the happiest day of my life." Who knew opening gifts for someone else could bring such immense joy?!

Hope you enjoy the following pictures. Alot of these are for the many family members who were unable to be there with us. We love you and thought of you often!

Our Little Butterfly

The "tea" table

Butterfly cupcakes again...a little different style this time

Devouring her cupcake...she knew what to do this time.

The end result...she was totally covered!

In her Hanbok
(This is in honor of our dear friends in Korea. We had Boo participate in a ceremony they do on the first birthday called Dol Jan Chee. The child has several items placed in front of them and chooses one that is supposed to signify their life later on. Not sure if you can tell from this picture, but Boo chose a book on the ground first and then the money. The love of books I can help with, but she must have a rich uncle somewhere...cause the money won't be coming from us.)

Two for ONE! (Part 1) I know I am so behind in blogging, but life has been extremely full lately. On October 29th we celebrated Pvt Boo's 1st birthday. It's so incredible to think that it has already been a year since we brought our little 4.5lbs girl home. She is now a healthy, active toddler who is getting into everything!

Because of scheduling conflicts, Boo got to have not just one, but two parties for her birthday. The first one was on her birthday and we had the added blessing of being able to celebrate it with her other mom: Miss D. We all had so much fun loving on our girl and being able to meet Miss D's dad and Boo's grandfather: Grandpa C. She wasn't sure about her birthday cupcake at first, but soon realized how delicious it really was. It didn't take long for her to devour it.

Here are a few pictures from our time that evening:

Miss D & Pvt Boo

Boo's butterfly cupcake tower

Totally enthralled with her cupcake

Grandpa C meeting Boo for the first time

Our beautiful gift from God!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

12 Months of Pure Joy!

I know I've been remiss in blogging. Life has been crazy with traveling, etc. I do have several posts waiting in the wings which I hope to get up here soon. For now, this post will have to do. I am amazed at how fast time has flown and that my little girl is now 1. Hope you enjoy this look at the last 12 months.